The “Deserving Poor”of Eglwys Rhôs

Poor Law

The Poor Law Act of 1601 unified the previous century’s statutes into one piece of legislation which directed the State’s treatment of the poor for more the next two centuries. The 1601 Act directed parishes to set an annually elected system of overseers, tax landholders and to administer a formal regime of poor relief ,however,  this was not fully effective in North Wales. The Poor Relief Act gave parish officials the legal ability to collect money from rate-payers to spend on poor relief for the sick, elderly and infirm..’the deserving poor’. This was known as ‘out-relief’ and handouts usually took the form of bread, clothing, fuel or money. An Act of 1662 empowered overseers to remove paupers back to the parish they were ‘legally settled’.[1][2]

The local gentry of the Creuddyn such as the Mostyns & Wynnes were keen to adopt the trappings of the English establishment  but reluctant to comply with the unprofitable aspects such as the Poor Law’s demand that ‘every inhabitant and occupier of lands’ be subject to a levy to pay for the ‘Reliefe of the Poore’. The local gentry were content to endow charities, dispense alms and provide work for paupers on a voluntary basis rather than statutory taxation. 

The parish, through its vestry (composed of the minister, churchwardens and elected parishioners) provided the day to day local administration. The annually appointed overseer (approved by the local justice of the peace) was responsible for collecting the poor rates and for deciding the merits of an individual pauper’s appeal for poor relief. They arranged the removal of paupers to their legal place of settlement. They also arranged apprenticeships for pauper’s children and orphans to local householders or craftsmen. The position of the parish boundaries was important for such matters and there is a series of parish boundary stones with ER P (Eglwys Rhos Parish) on one side and LL P (Llandudno Parish) on the other side (see Fig. 7. & 8.). 

The boundary stones go from Llandudno promenade (opposite Mostyn Crescent)  to Bodafon Street, next one is in Holy Trinity Church grounds, followed by one in Albert Street and one in St. David’s Road. After this no further boundary stones can be found but the line of the parish boundary can be followed, see Figure 1 for map of boundary,

Fig 1.Map

early boundary map , stones are indicated BS   and boundary line indicated ...........heavy dotted line

Fig 1 – early boundary map , stones are indicated BS and boundary line indicated ………..heavy dotted line

The Figs. below show the boundary maps in more detail (note that the parish boundary was altered in 1933)


Fiona Map fig2a

Fig.3a – parish boundary from Bodafon Road to Trinity Church and then on to the Cottage Hospital

Fiona Map fig2b

as the above caption Fig 3b

Fiona Map fig3b

Fig 4b – Albert Rd. to St. David’s Rd.

Fiona Map fig3a

Fig 4a – as above caption

Fiona Map fig4b

Fig 5a – Llandudno Cricket Ground – The Oval , area

Fiona Map fig 4a

Fig 5b – The Oval area

Fiona Map fig5

Fig 5c – The Oval, area

present day boundary

present day boundary



below Fig 7 & 8

photographs of boundary stones.[3] between Llandudno Parish and Eglwys Rhos parish

Fiona Stones a.jpg1

Llandudno Prom opposite Mostyn Crescent.

Fiona Stones b.jpg1Fiona Sones c.jpg1

Fiona Stones d.jpg1

Bodafon Road Llandudno

Fiona Fig 8 d

Albert Street Llandudno

Fiona Fig 8b

Albert Street Llandudno

Fiona Fig 8 c

within Trinity Church Llandudno

Fiona Fig 8 a

Trinity Church Llandudno

[1] Draper, Christopher (2005). ‘The Story of Conwy Workhouse.’


[3]Conwy Archives CEP17/3/2/7Bundle of papers concerning parish boundaries



This system would continue until the Poor Law Amendment Bill of 1834 which created a new national administration framework and transferred the authority to a central body, the ‘Poor Law Commission for England & Wales’. Fifteen parishes and townships of the Creuddyn and Conway Valley combined to form the ‘Poor Law Union of Conway’ with a workhouse built at Conwy and opened in 1859 (although much of the Conwy Union was opposed to building a workhouse but eventually compiled with the Poor Law Commission to build one). There was a movement to have the workhouse built at Tywyn (Deganwy).

 Charities & Doles

Parish Relief administered by the local parish or vestry was supplemented by charitable doles.

In his last will and testament, dated 4th September 1623, Lewis Owen of Twickenham, a serjeant at arms, who had acquired half the rectorial tithes of Conwy, instructed that the income so derived be devoted to clothing the local poor. The money was specifically to be ‘bestowed in Wollen & Linnen Cloths, to cutt into gowns, shirts and smocks with stockings & shoes and the same to be given every Allhollan day yearly for ever unto poor men and women dwelling in the Town of Conway and in the three parishes in the Comott of Crythin…each being three score years old at least’ (see Appendix 2). [1][2]


A plaque in St. Tudno’s church on the Great Orme refers to various charities for the parish of Llandudno; one of them being Lewis Owen of Twickenham’s bequest. Lewis Owen also bequeathed monies to other parishes in North Wales such as Penmyndd in Anglesey (as he was one of the Penmydd Owens)

plaque at St Tudno's Church , Gt. Orme

plaque at St. Tudno’s Church, Llandudno – Gt. Orme

Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary  of 1833 notes that this bequest in providing clothing for the poor of the parish was  distributed on St. Thomas’s day

[1] All Hollan refers to All Hallows’ Day , more commonly known as All Saints’ Day now, celebrated on 1st November

[2] Copy of Lewis Owen’s will in ‘The Heart of North Wales’ by W.Bezant Lowe

 amongst the poor men and women of the parish, according to the number and poverty of their families. The sum received varied from £10 to £18 annually. St. Thomas’s day was a traditional day to give out ‘doles’, and over the years the day for giving the clothing dole changed from All Hallows’ Day on 1st November to St. Thomas’ Day on 21st December.

In addition to this bequest, Llanrhos paupers were eligible for a charitable weekly dole of bread, financed under the last will & testament 1623 of Lewis Owen of Twickenham; he bequeathed £7 per annum, out of the rectorial tithes of the parish, for preaching twelve sermons yearly. This sum was in 1844 paid to the perpetual curate by the Hon. Mr. Mostyn and also devised a small sum to be expended for the poor in bread weekly. However this last benefaction had fallen into disuse by 1844. [1]

Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of 1844 refers to the poor of Eglwys Rhos, together with those of Llandudno and Llangwstenyn, being entitled to receive a distribution of barley, beef and cloth; the donor was unknown but it was considered a charge upon the domain and mansion of Gloddaeth. The amount of charity was about £50 annually; the barley was distributed every third week and the beef and cloth at Christmas.  A bequest of £20 by Thomas Evans in 1732 had been lost by 1844.

An account book for the St. Thomas’ Day Charity (from 1875 to 1916) gives an idea of the amount of monies involved and to whom the money was distributed.[2] Other accounts show the charity still paying out money in 1932.[3]One page for each year deals with the value of the rent charge as published, the deductions made, the remaining sum and how it was divided for the Vicar of Conway, the Churchwardens of Conway, the Churchwardens of Eglwys Rhos, the Churchwardens of Llandudno and the Churchwardens of Llangwstenin (an account sheet which was verified by the Charities Commission). The sum received by the Churchwardens of Eglwys Rhos was then distributed to parishioners on St. Thomas’ Day, the 21st December (a traditional date for handing out dole). Sometimes the Vicar or Churchwardens contributed an amount to even out the distribution of money; occasionally one person received a little extra or sometimes a little less.

In the account book there is a card for the St. Thomas’ Charity December 21st 1901..’please supply…with clothing to the value of £…Account for which together with this card to be sent to the undersigned before Dec 31st 1901; Francis G. Jones, Vicar; H. Lloyd Mostyn & Hugh Williams, Churchwardens.’

This suggests that parishioners did not receive a sum of money ,but rather a ‘voucher’ towards clothing; possibly before that they received the cloth itself for garments ?

In 1875 the amount of money distributed was £12 13s 7d; the amount accrueing from the Conway Tithes (value of the tithe rent charge was £153 7s 6d, less deductions, the remainder was £140 divided by the Vicar of Conway and the churchwardens of the four parishes mentioned above. The amount given to Eglwys Rhos was £17 11s 8d. A sum of twelve pounds was divided between forty-four persons on St. Thomas’ Day. Each recipient was given the sum of 5s 9 ½  d. Between 1875 and 1899 the number of people receiving this charity was about fourty.

After 1899 the number of recipients dwindled, however, so did the sum of money received from the tithe rent charge. The sum accrueing from the Conway Tithes also appears to dwindle over time. In 1902 the sum of money received by the churchwardens amounted to £7 8s 7d. Over time, as fields were sold off for development, the land still had a proportional amount of tithe charge on it. Often several land owners were jointly liable for Tithe Rent Charge,  however, only one paid the charge but did not manage to recover the contributions due from the other landowners. By 1912 there was the Redemption of the Tithe Rent Charges. The land was surveyed and the cost of redemption was divided between all the owners in proportion to the land owned by them (in the case of my house, this had been part of a large field Cae Cid in Eglwys Rhos parish and the redemption charge was £5 10s 4d on 4th January 1912 and the owner Hugh Linley paid it on 15th January 1912). Payment of this charge was compulsory.[4]Presumably this meant there would be less Tithe Charges and consequently less money paid to the St. Thomas’ Day Charity.

Although records show that the Lewis Owen Charity for clothing/, St. Thomas’s Day charity continued until at least 1931. In 1931 thirty-eight people received a ticket worth 6 shillings.

People receiving the charity were generally over the age of sixty although some were in their mid fifties but who were supporting young grand children. Some were widowed, others still married. Occasionally if the husband died then the wife received the charity the next St. Thomas’ Day. People receiving the charity money were not necessarily born in the parish but probably had been living in Eglwys Rhos parish for some time. There are a few notes in the account book suggesting future recipients of the charity; one note remarks on new applicants- a widower over 70 years, a widow with four children and no help, a widow aged 60 years and no help. On others it is noted that the husband is in constant work, whilst another applicant’s husband is unable to work due to rheumatism. Occasionally a person had been receiving the charity and then was not given the charity money the following year; there are a few notes from applicants asking for an explanation and consideration to be given for inclusion in next year’s list.

Over the period 1875 to 1905, over a hundred people living in the Tywyn/ Deganwy area received this charity money and many received the payments for several years. Some of the addresses of the recipients would appear to be ‘poor cottages’ such as Ty’n-y-Fron or had been living in the Almshouse/ Tai Newyddion (discussed in the next section). Other people in the Eglwys Rhos parish also received the money, particularly around Penrhyn Side area. Here are a few cases of the people who received the St. Thomas’ Charity.

Here are some of the people who received the St. Thomas’ Day Charity money –Robert Lloyd, born in about 1796, lived at Deganwy Lodge (Dyganwy; a poor cottage) and later at Glan-y-Mor cottage and was a gardener. Together with his wife Dorothy, the Llyods were involved in bringing non-conformity to the Deganwy area and held prayer meetings at their house.[5] Robert received the St. Thomas’ charity money from 1875 to 1884 and died in 1886; his wife Dorothy had died much earlier in 1865.

William Owen, born about 1805, had lived with his wife and family at Tydden Nesa (another poor cottage) for many years. In his earlier life William was a copperminer. His brother, also a copperminer, and father lived nearby. Later he was a fisherman. In the 1881 census, William & Margaret Owen were in their seventies but were caring for three young grand-children and even a decade later they had a grand-daughter living with them. Margaet received the St. Thomas’ Charity from 1875 to 1888. A gravestone in St. Hilary’s notes William Owen of Tyddnessa, 1805 to 1891, and his wife Margaret, 1808 to 1893. 

William & Gwen Jones, born about 1824, lived up on the Vardre at Caerddial. In the 1841 census they were living at Chapel House (presumably attached to the Wesleyan Chapel on Pentywyn Hill which no longer stands)  with one year old daughter Catherine. By the 1851 census, they were living on the Vardre and appeared to have lived there until they died. Earlier William is described as a copper-miner and an agricultural labourer. Later his occupation was a general or agricultural labourer. William received the St. Thomas’ money from 1875 to 1888 and Gwen then received the money from 1888 to 1900. A grave in St. Hilary’s notes William Jones, died May 25th 1891, aged 77 years and his wife Gwen, died May 31st 1901,  aged 85 years. Another grave sadly notes their children’s deaths; Jane, baby daughter in 1844, Ellen in 1848 and William in 1864. However two of their children went into teaching; a son Thomas Jones was a pupil teacher (1861 census) and later the schoolmaster of the Aber National School whilst his much younger sister Margaret became the schoolmistress at the Conwy Union Workhouse School in 1877.

A few people had a disability such as blindness. Isaac Brown, a blind basket-maker, born in about 1849, lived at Glan Aber and later at Seaview cottage with his wife Esther and young family, received St. Thomas’ Day charity from 1881 to 1891. His wife Esther died in 1891 and his daughter Edith in 1896. However Isaac married again to Jane Jones in 1900 and died in Rhyl in 1924. A note in the 1881 census when the Brown family was living in Glan Conwy notes that Isaac Brown was blind as he had ‘met with an accident’.

Another blind parishioner was Elizabeth Parry, born blind in 1854 with her twin brother, Thomas. They lived with their mother Susannah Parry at Tai Newyddion and later at Stablua in Tywyn; earlier Susannah and her eldest son William lived at the Almshouse in Tywyn. Susannah’s occupation ranged from paper to former domestic servant to washerwoman. Both Elizabeth and Susannah received the St. Thomas’ charity money from 1876 to 1889;

Susannah died in 1890 and Elizabeth was sent to the Conwy Workhouse to live and was still in the workhouse in the 1901 census. 

Another charity, relating to the parish of Eglwys Rhos, was the Paramore’s Charity. It was known as the Charity of Miss Elizabeth Pearl Paramore and there are records of the charity between 1902 and 1932. Elizabeth Pearl Paramore was a sculptor/ artist, born in Tasmania, Australia, and was living with her mother Louisa Paramore, a widow in Craig-y-Don. The mother Louisa died in 1895 followed by Elizabeth on 15th December 1897. Probate records show that Elizabeth had effects of £1367 17s 2d and presumably had set up a small charity to benefit Llanrhos church and also to look after the family grave. For example the records for 1927 shows that the Sexton received 7s for attending to the Paramore grave and Mrs. Lunt received a charity gift of 5s. The money was distributed to ‘the poor’, usually one to three recipients. In 1902 William Jones (destitute) was given 7s 6d.

Poor Cottages

Parishes sometimes maintained ‘poorhouses’ which were not institutions but parish owned cottages offering frugal accommodation. In the Tithe Survey of Eglwys Rhos in 1846 there were sixteen ‘Poor Cottages’, all on Thomas Peers Williams’ land.

Ferm Bach Ty [near Fferm Bach Rd], occupied by Edward Evans (1841 census gives his occupation as agricultural labourer)

Ferm Bach Ty, occupied by Ellen Williams (1841 census describes her as a widow)

Llanbach [north of Llanrhos Church], occupied by Robert Jones (in 1841 occupied by Richard Lester, a miner & publican)


Dyganwy [next to Dyganwy Tyddyn/ Deganwy House], occupied by Robert Lloyd (1841 census describes him as a gardener)


Coed y Bwlch [near Bwlch Farm], occupied by Ann Williams (Troed y Bwlch in the 1841 census; Ann is described as a pauper)


Henpen [probably Ty’n-y-Fron,below Pant-y-Fran], occupied by Thomas Jones (1841 census describes him as an agricultural labourer)


Tyddynesa[Rathbone Terrace], occupied by Henry Owen (in the 1841 census a copper miner)


Chapel & court [corner of Pentywyn Hill & Park Road; Chapel probably refer to the precursor of Peniel Chapel], occupied by John Williams


Cottage [near the bottom of Pentywyn Hill], occupied by Ellen Edwards


Cottage [near the bottom of Pentywyn Hill], occupied by Robert Roberts (in 1841 census described as a agricultural labourer, living at Towyn)


Hen Fferry [near Ferry Farm Rd], occupied by John Davies (1841 census describes him as a carrier)


Gate House, occupied by Robert Roberts (described in 1841 census as an agricultural labourer living at Glan-y-Mor)


Graig Llwyd [near Penrhynside], occupied by Catherine Jones


Graig Llwyd , occupied by John Hughes (described as an agricultural labourer in 1841 census)


Graig Llwyd , occupied by Catherine Jones


Baptist Chapel [at top of Pentywyn Hill, at the junction of Bwlch Farm Rd, probably where there was a Wesleyan Chapel established in 1831]



In the 1790’s a cottage called ‘Ty Mawr’ on a common belonging to the Corporation of Conway was rented by the churchwardens of Eglwys Rhos parish. William Foulkes owned the cottage (he owned in the right of his wife), he paid ground rent for it but set the cottage aside for the parish officers to entertain the poor of the parish for 15 s. a year. Sometime after the death of his wife, other people lay claim to the cottage. The 1846 tithe map shows Ty Mawr (then owned & lived in by Henry Williams as shown in the 1841 & subsequent censuses) and the Corporation of Conway land was next to it. Ty Mawr stood on about the junction of Ty Mawr Rd & Stamford Street in Tywyn, Deganwy.


By the time of the 1841 census Ty Mawr was no longer being used for the poor of the parish although the 1841 census shows an Almshouse in Tywyn. Presumably a different building was used.

The 1841 census shows a total of 36 people were at the Almshouse, of whom 21 were over the age of 13 years. The younger men were listed as agricultural labourers whilst the older folk were listed as paupers or had no occupation. The following families were listed at the Almshouse, although it must be noted that the 1841 census does not specify relationships nor a definite place of birth (other than of that parish or not) and the ages for adults were often rounded up.

Jones Family #1; William, 30 yrs agricultural labourer; Margaret, 30yrs; Ann, 9 yrs; Mary, 7 yrs; Jane, 5 yrs; Thomas, 3 yrs, infant unnamed1 mth. All of Eglwys Rhos parish.


Jones Family  #2. Robert, 35yrs, agricultural labourer; Margaret, 35 yrs; Elisa, 2 yrs; Richard 1 yr. All except Margaret were from Eglwys Rhos parish.


Parry family. Owen, 70 yrs, agricultural labourer; Elizabeth, 65 yrs, Susannah, 20 yrs. Not of Eglwys Rhos Parish.


Jones Family  #3.  Mary, 50yrs, pauper; Ann, 35yrs; Mary 3 yrs. Only Mary was born in Eglwys Rhos parish.


Edwards. Jane, 50yrs, pauper. Not of Eglwys Rhos parish.


Hughes Family. Robert, 50 yrs, agricultural labourer. Mary, 50 yrs; Jane, 12 yrs. Only Jane born in Eglwys Rhos parish.


Jones Family #4. Jane, 50yrs, pauper; Ellin, 13 yrs; Mary, 11 yrs. All born in Eglwys Rhos parish.


Thomas. Jane, 75 yrs, pauper. Not of this parish.


Jones Family #5. William, 25 yrs, agricultural labourer; Catherine, 25 yrs; George, 3 yrs; John, I mth. All, except Catherine, born in Eglwys Rhos parish.


Jones Family #6. Richard, 50 yrs, pauper; Mary, 45 yrs; Margaret, 25 yrs; Jane, 6 yrs; Ellin, 2 yrs; John 9 mths. All born in Eglwys Rhos parish


Evans Family. John, 65 yrs; Hannah, 55 yrs. John was born in Eglwys Rhos parish but not Hannah.

Parish registers for Llanrhos Church give some indication how long the Almshouse was in use. Baptism records show the first mention of Almshouse for William Jones’s baptism on July 17th 1831, son of Richard, a labourer & Mary Jones, of the Almshouse (Table 1). Burial records show the burial of Robert Williams, aged 80 years, of the Almshouse, on February 6th 1832 (Table 2).

The last baptism record to show the Almshouse was for Grace, daughter of William & Margaret Jones, on March 10th 1844. The last burial entry for the Almshouse was that of William Jones, aged 45 years, on February 19th 1845.

Charles Davies, a labourer, and Harriet Rice, a widower, were married from the Almshouse on November 14th 1844 (only marriage records after 1837 give the address. Prior to that date, it was just noted whether they were of that parish or not).

This record suggests the Almshouse, sometimes referred to as the Almshouse Towyn, and was in use from at least 1831 to 1845.

Census data, particularly from 1851 onwards, and parish records can help in identifying some of these ‘Almshouse’ families and where they lived either before or after the 1841 census.

Jones Family #1; William, 30 yrs agricultural labourer; Margaret, 30yrs; Ann, 9 yrs; Mary, 7 yrs; Jane, 5 yrs; Thomas, 3 yrs, infant unnamed1 mth.  All of Eglwys Rhos parish. Baptism records for the children show for Ann, baptized in 1832, the family lived at Troed-y-Bwlch; for Mary, baptized in 1834, the family lived at Ty’n-y-Fron. When Jane was baptized on July 24th 1836, the family was living at the Almshouse. Another daughter Grace was baptized on March 10th 1844 and the family was living at the Almshouse, Towyn. This may suggest that the family first lived at the poor cottages, Troed-y-Bwlch & Ty’n-y-Fron and then from 1834 for the next ten years or so at the Almhouse.

Jones Family  #2. Robert, 35yrs, agricultural labourer; Margaret, 35 yrs; Elisa, 2 yrs; Richard 1 yr. All except Margaret were from Eglwys Rhos parish. Baptism records for Richard, baptized on April 28th 1841, show the family living at Ty Newydd. Yet by the census of 1841 in June the family was at the Almhouse.

Jones Family  #3. Mary, 50yrs, pauper; Ann, 35yrs; Mary 3 yrs. Only Mary was born in Eglwys Rhos parish. A possible baptism record for Mary born in about 1838 is that for a Mary Anne, an illegitimate daughter of John Jones of PwllGwychiad [Llandudno] and Ann Jones, Almshouse. In the 1851 census, Mary Jones, 64 yrs, a widow from Llansantsfraidd lived with her daughter Ann, aged 36 yrs and her niece, Mary Anne Jones, aged 13 yrs, at Tai Newyddion, Tywyn. Mary’s occupation was pauper although this was crossed out in the census. In the next census of 1861, Ann and her daughter Mary Anne and a son Thomas, aged 2 yrs together with a lodger, John Jones, 18yrs & a mariner, were living at John Street Cottage. Mary Anne’s occupation was ‘pearling’ like that of her neighbour Susannah Parry (see below).


Mary Anne Jones married Thomas Atherton in 1863; in the 1871 census Thomas & Mary Anne & their young family were living at Towyn Cottage, next to the Farmer’s Arms. Mary Anne’s mother, Anne, was living with them and was described as a ‘midwife’. In the 1881 & 1891 census the Athertons lived at the railway crossing at Maes Du. In the 1901 census, they lived at Castell (?near Bright Terrace, Tywyn) and in the 1911 census 79 year old Thomas Atherton and his wife Mary, 74 years old, were living with their married daughter Elizabeth Roberts at 10 Park Street, Tywyn. Both were described as old age pensioners. Thomas Atherton received the St. Thomas’s Day charity money for several years; last known record was 1905; Thomas Atherton ‘Crossing’.


Hughes Family. Robert, 50 yrs,  agricultural labourer. Mary, 50 yrs;  Jane, 12 yrs.  Only Jane was born in Eglwys Rhos parish. In the 1851 census there is a possible match for the daughter Jane working as a general servant for Anne Roberts, a widow & farmer of 60 acres at Maes Dola.


Parry family. Owen, 70 yrs, agricultural labourer; Elizabeth, 65 yrs, Susannah, 20 yrs. Not of Eglwys Rhos Parish. Burial entry ???  Parry, aged 72 years, Almshouse buried on April 2nd 1842.

Baptism records show that Susannah Parry, of the Almshouse, had a son William by William Jones of Ferry; the son was baptized on November 21st 1841. The 1851 census shows Susan Parry, aged 32 yrs from Llansantffraid, working as a servant maid and living with her nine year old son, William Jones, at Tai Newyddion, Towyn. In the next census 1861, Susannah Parry’s occupation was ‘pearling’ and she had twins, Thomas & Elizabeth aged six years old, living at John Street Cottage. Elizabeth unfortunately was blind from birth. In the next census 1871, Susan’s occupation was put as a pauper but this was crossed out and formerly domestic servant inserted as her occupation. The twins were living with her. In the census of 1881 Susannah’s occupation was washerwoman and her son Thomas worked as a railway labourer. Susannah Parry died in 1890. By the 1891 & 1901 censuses Elizabeth Parry, the blind daughter, was an inmate at the Conway Union workhouse.


Jones Family  #4. Jane, 50yrs, pauper;  Ellin, 13 yrs; Mary, 11 yrs. All born in Eglwys Rhos parish. Possible baptism record for Ellin is on April 22nd 1827 and for Mary on April 19th 1829 to William & Jane Jones of Ty’n-y-Fron.

In the 1851 census there is a Jane Jones, aged 64 yrs and her daughter Mary, aged 22 yrs living at Tai Newyddion, Tywyn.

Thomas.  Jane, 75 yrs, pauper. Not of this parish. In the 1851 census Jane Thomas, a widower & pauper, aged 83 years lived at Towyn (next to Rose Cottage in the schedule).

Jones Family  #5. William, 25 yrs, agricultural labourer; Catherine, 25 yrs; George, 3 yrs; John, I mth. All, except Catherine, were born in Eglwys Rhos parish. Their children George, Peter, John & Ellen were all baptized on July 23rd 1844 at Llanrhos and the family was living at the Almshouse Towyn. Elizabeth was baptized on May 3rd 1846.


In the 1851 census, William & Catherine and their family were living at Tai Newyddion, Towyn. William worked as an agricultural labourer. Their children were George 12yrs, Peter 7 yrs, Elizabeth 5 yrs, Ellen 3 yrs and John 1 yr. John & Ellen baptized in 1844 most probably died young as the Ellen aged 3 and John aged 1 are probably not the same children. In the 1861 census William, a labourer, & Catherine and family (Elizabeth, Ellener, John, David, Jane & Ann) were living at Cillowen near Tyddyn Nesa in Tywyn. By the 1871 census, William and Catherine had moved to Lodge, a village near Brymbo in eastern Denbighshire, not far from Wrexham. William was working as a brickworks labourer whilst his son David was working as a collier. Brymbo is known for its coal & steel works. In this part of Denbighshire coalfield, seams of clay are found alongside the coal and many of the collieries had a sideline in brick making, either for their own use or for sale.

Jones Family  #6. Richard, 50 yrs, pauper; Mary, 45 yrs; Margaret, 25 yrs; Jane, 6 yrs; Ellin, 2 yrs; John 9 mths. All were born in Eglwys Rhos parish.

Baptism record for William, son of Richard & Mary Jones, of the Almshouse baptized on July 17th 1831.Baptism record for Jane, baptized on May 17th 1835, daughter of Richard Jones, labourer & his wife Mary of the Almshouse. Possibly Richard died in 1842; there is a burial record for a Richard Jones, aged 58 yrs, Almshouse, buried on April 28th 1842. These records suggest that this Jones family lived in the Almshouse from at least 1831 to 1842.


The 1851 census show Mary and the rest of the family living at Tai Newyddion, Tywyn (daughter Margaret aged 35 yrs, daughter Ellin aged 12 yrs, nephew John Jones aged 10 yrs). All were described as paupers. In the 1861 census Margaret was living at Ty Newydd, Tywyn (near Shop Bach & Rose Cottage).

Pentywyn Hill …..possible locations (Almshouse) or the above houses Ty Newydd , Tai Newyddion – either side of the Farmers Arms – Public House shown on the map below

Fiona Fig 9 a   Fiona Fig 9b   Fiona Fig 9c

Evans  Family. John, 65 yrs; Hannah, 55 yrs. John was born in Eglwys Rhos parish but not Hannah. A burial entry for a John Evans, aged 68 yrs, of the Almshouse, buried on June 21st 1842.

Parry Family. Baptism record for Thomas Parry, baptized on October 1833, son of Edward Parry, a labourer, & his wife Mary, of the Almshouse. By the 1841 census Edward & Mary Parry were living at Bryn Ty Hwyrd ? (between Bryn Gosol & Fattw on the census schedule)  with their children Margaret, Ann, Mary & Thomas.  Edward’s occupation was a copper miner. By the next census they were living at Ty’n-y-Fron; Edward was described as an agricultural a labourer whilst his daughters Margaret, Anne & Mary were dressmakers.

Several of the former occupants of the Almshouse lived at ‘Tai Newyddion’ Tywyn in the 1851 census (Susannah Parry; Mary, Anne & Mary Anne Jones; Jane & Mary Jones; Mary, Margaret, Ellin, John Jones; William & Catherine Jones). ‘Tai Newyddion’ appears on the census schedule after Minafon, Rose Cottage, and Penstorehouse & Mindon which are around the Pentywyn Hill / Ty Mawr Road area. The Almshouse & the ‘Tai Newyddion’ houses may be one and the same (see Figure 5). Later schedules refer to Ty Newydd.

Several families appeared to have lived at Ty’n-y-Fron and Bryn Hyfryd (near the quarry at the back of Tan-y-Fron.

Conway Union Workhouse 

The census records from 1861 to 1911 give an indication of persons from the Eglwyrhos parish whom ended up as inmates or occasionally patients at the Conwy Workhouse. Most of them from Eglwysrhos were single women or young children with the occasional elderly widow or widower. Most are difficult to trace in the absence of other family information such as parents’ names. A few inmates can be traced in the census records.

In the 1881 census, Hugh Lunt, aged 32 years a former sailor, was a patient at the Conway Workhouse. Hugh Lunt was the son of John & Mary Lunt living at Tai Newyddion, Tywyn in the 1851 census. Ten years later in the 1861 census, Hugh Lunt was working on the coasting vessel, John & Mary of Liverpool docked at Queensferry, with Edward Brooks of Llandudno as the master. In the 1871 census, Hugh, a mariner, was lodging with the Hughes family in Roy Street, Vauxhall. One wonders if some maritime accident laid him up as a patient at the Workhouse. Hugh died in 1884.

John William Jones, the son of the widowed Elizabeth Jones, innkeeper of the Castle View, Tywyn, was a chemist and in the 1891 census was in the Workhouse. The previous census of 1881, John William Jones was lodging with the Atherton family living at Maes Du crossing and was described as chemist -out of employment.

Another person from the Eglwys Rhos parish was the 21 year old schoolmistress, Margaret Jones, in the 1881 census. Margaret was possibly the daughter of William & Gwen Jones, of Caer Ddiall, a cottage up on the Vardre. Their eldest son, Thomas, was a pupil teacher at Llanrhos school and later was the schoolmaster at Aber National School. Margaret Jones was appointed in November 1877 as the schoolmistress of the Conway Union workhouse school with an annual salary of £30. She proved a conscientious teacher and when her class was formally examined in 1880; Margaret was awarded ‘Probationary, First Division’. In 1883 a formal report of class remarked that there were 30 children attending the school and again Margaret was graded ‘Probationary , First Class’. In 1886 she accepted a post at the Holywell Workhouse .

© Fiona Richards November 2014


The gravestone of Poor Betty


fiona fig 10.jpgb

’Here lies the body of poor Betty who for upwards of 50 years was a houseless wandering maniac died Feb 1824. Y mae gorpwysfa yn y Nefoedd’.


 Notes on Parish Boundary Stones

 Llanrhos (Eglwys Rhos) & Llandudno Parishes. 

Parish of Eglwyrhos (now Llanrhos), main parish church was St. Hilary’s although it was known as St. Mary’s.. the parish extended from the river Conwy shoreline up to modern day Llandundo and  included part of Craig-y-Don in the parish (and thus separated the two portions of the Llandudno parish, one around the Great Orme, ‘Upper Township’, and the other around the Liitle Orme, ‘Lower Township’). The parish boundary stones are marked on a map dating about 1879 but so far have not ascertained the date of the stones. Why mark the boundary? The parish and the parish vestry formed the main administrative unit and possibly the development & growth of Llandudno may be a reason in marking the boundary. The old village of Llandudno was centred around the base of the Great Orme and the area around the parish boundary was probably fields or sand dunes. As the area developed it probably more important to delineate the parishes, particularly in the case of parish relief and which parish ‘deserving poor’ belonged to. The parish boundary went through the middle of hotels and houses and for some time there was a move to revise the parish boundary. At a Diocesan Conference of Diocese of St. Asasph’s (as Llandundo was under Bangor whilst Eglwys Rhos was under St. Asasph’s) on July 10th 1933 and Diocese of Bangor on August 31st 1933, it was agreed to move the boundary. Several streets were moved from one parish to another; Bodafon School was moved to Eglwys Rhos parish whilst St. Andrew’s Mission Church was moved to LLandundo Parish.


Table 1 Baptism records for Almshouse Table 1.xlsxcopy


Table 2  Burial records for Almshouse Table 2.xlsxcopy


 Appendix 1

A copy of part of the last Will and Testament of the late Lewes Owen Esq., deceased 

(in the ‘Heart of North Wales’ by W. Bezant Lowe) 

I gave & bequeath unto the aforesaid Hugh Williams & Henry Jones and to their heirs for ever, jointly, all my rectory of Conway and the right of patronage to the Vicar of Conway and all my Tythes in Conway & Glenthaieth, with their appurtenance, in the county of Carnarvon, to the uses following (that is to say) that they the said Hugh Williams & Henry Jones and their heirs shall let & sett the Rectory tythes and premises last mentioned in the utmost value which shall yearly for ever laid out and bestowed in woolen and linen cloaths, to be cut into gowns shirts and smocks with stockings and shoes, and the same to be given every Allhollan yearly for ever unto poor men and women dwelling in the Town of Conway, and on the three parishes in the Comott of Crythin viz’t each of them a gown, shirt or smock, a pair of shoes a pair of stockings to the value of twenty shillings or thereabouts, at the discretion of the said Hugh Williams, Henry Jones and Robert Salsbury and their heirs, and of ye Vicars and Churchwardens of the four several parishes of Conway, Eglerosse, Llangwstenin and Lladidno, there for the time being each a poor man or woman being three score years at least. Except that they be starked blind and they or any four of them to certify under their hands before the feast of Christmas in every year unto the Bishop of the Diocese where the tithes lie that they have performed this my bequest according to the true intent of my will. And I further will that those persons who shall by force of this my will enjoy my lands in Eglerosse and Llynsteninge shall for ever pay to the poor of the said two parishes Twelve pence a piece weekly in Bread as they have always by me received the same; L.e. Owen Signed, sealed & Published by the said Lewes Owen as his last Will & Testament4th September 1623 in the presence of Toby Matthew, Rice Lane, Sev’s.

 Appendix 2

[1] Topographical Dictionary of Wales, Lewis, Samuel (1833, 1844, 1849 editions) 

[2] Conwy Archives CEP/1/26 Llanrhos Parish Records, Account Book, St. Thomas’ Day Charity, distribution of money accrueing from the Conwy Tithes with names of beneficiaries 1873-1916.

[3] Gwynedd Archives XD/54/152, XD/54/153, XD/54/154, XD/54/155

[4] Letter to H.Linley, Bryn Ash, Deganwy regarding the Redemption of the Tithe Rent Charge, 4th Jan 1912


[5] Williams, B. & Tudno Wiiliams, J. ‘ Methodistiaid Llandudno’


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